|Yep, this really happened.|
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Detective Comics, DC made a 54-page special issue featuring the three most iconic detectives in its history, along with Sherlock Holmes, the big papa of all detectives, who, oddly enough, was also celebrating his 100th anniversary!
|Double birthday cover: Detective Comics' 50th and Sherlock Holmes' 100th.|
The story is structured in 5 parts, the first four feature the individual efforts of each of the star detectives and the fifth part is the climax. Well, more or less.
The first two chapters star an aged Slam Bradley and feature a cameo by Batman and Robin. Slam was the earliest long lasting feature of the title, so this was a very fitting choice.
The third chapter is basically a classic Elongated Man feature illustrated by Carmine Infantino, just like the ones that characterized Detective Comics during the brightest days of the silver age of DC Comics, by then, at the middle of its run.
Then, we have the Holmes part, a postmodern trip to the classic and most iconic era of the detective fiction.
The final chapter has Batman leading Slam and Dibny against the thread that brought them together. The current, longest and most important star of the book, leading past stars under the guiding hand of their inspiration against the ultimate foe of detective fiction. As you can see, quite a solid premise!
A great strength of the story is characterization. Batman has his 80s dark and tough personality, and there's somewhat of a free card with Robin II, who was relatively new. Not much of a challenge so far. However, Ralph is done in his full silver age glory, always the creative and optimistic sleuth; Sherlock is brilliant,
polite, elegant - he is spot on; and the most changed character is a Slam Bradley...
|A lot has changed for old Slam.|
|Tough, isn't he?|
|His butt kicking days are over, but that's nothing that some old school tricks can't compensate.|
All wrapped in the modern setting of Batman and Detective Comics. There is some metafiction (the Holmes chapter) and even a snarky protagonist (Slam), so, it can be said that this is a great example of postmodernism is comics.
|Same old Ralph toying with his food.|
|Isn't he awesome?|
Watson being introduced to a client that just arrived, Holmes shocking the client by deducing key elements of his identity, the client's exposing a really of the case, Holmes rushing to action once he confirms that his unlikely deductions are real and the confrontation with the culprits, whose plot is almost outlandish. Like in many stories, what seems like an unimportant oddity turns out to be a very complex scheme of grandiose ambitions.
|It's go time!|
|MacGyver #2 isn't far behind. This is why they are the two Justice Leaguers.|
|The ultimate mastermind.|